If you can’t heal yourself, how can you heal others?

Bronwen and Frans StieneEnglish 9 Comments

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eye “If you can’t heal yourself, how can you heal others?” is the answer to a question by Mikao Usui in the Q&A section of the Reiki Ryoho Hikkei as handed out by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai.

What kind of healing is Mikao Usui talking about? Healing the pain in your knee? Or is he talking about a deeper kind of healing? To answer this question we need to look the most important element of the system of Reiki, the precepts:


For today only
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be humble
Be honest in your work
Show compassion to yourself and others

What kind of healing is envisaged when we read the precepts? They do not mention physical pain. They do not say “For today only heal your bad knee.”

The precepts relate a state of mind; that of healing our anger and worry. At the deepest level the precepts direct us to heal our grasping of the “I”. When we let go of the “I”, there is no longer an “I” to get angry or worried. When we let go of the “I” we become One with the universe. This ultimately helps us to become a clearer vehicle for helping others to heal themselves.

This process of healing our own grasping of the “I” before helping others makes clear that Mikao Usui created the system of Reiki as a spiritual practice.

And, yes, of course, the wonderful side effect of this practice is that it also makes possible the healing of our physical being. That knee may possibly get better too. Although,we must never forget that physically our bodies will all die one day. But think on this: HOW would you like to die? Full of anger and worry? Or in a state of peace and serenity? 

Mikao Usui’s statement is a very powerful one. He gives us clues on how to practice the system of Reiki and on how to become a clearer vehicle for healing others. 

The spiritual masters of old spoke of healing of the self from a spiritual viewpoint, however, today, we have grown to see ourselves differently. In line with our primarily physical concept of medicine and a body oriented society, it is the human form that takes precedence.

But the truth remains that we can only create a better world if we let go of our own grasping of the “I”.

Comments 9

  1. Avatar of Elly

    Hear, hear! Though I did have to laugh when I read your example, since I was giving my knee some Reiki as I was reading! (It somehow “went out” on me yesterday, ow.) Thank you for continuing to emphasize the centrality of the Precepts to our progress on the Reiki path.

  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    Somehow many teachers seem to miss the precepts or not link it with all the other elements. But the precepts are the foundation and need to be linked to all the other practices within the system of Reiki.
    Plus if we can let go of the “I” we are a clearer vehicle to help others. If we still have lots of anger and worry how can we help others.


  3. Avatar of Patsy Fine

    It takes a long time to figure out that the “I” with which we identify as our personality is constructed in time-space. Its the mask we build within our families and cultural experiences and think we are that. This “I” is not who we really are and letting go of our attachment to it, is a big step into revealing one’s True Self. Thank you Frans, for sharing these thoughts and affirming Reiki as spiritual practice. Reiki offers anyone a simple, but powerful way out of the attachment of who we think we are and a way into the “Big Bright Light of who we really are. Lovely thoughts to ponder.

  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  5. Avatar of Kris

    Wonderful article, Frans.  I often repeat Mikao Usui ‘s question to myself.  And, to be honest, I do get different answers at different times, according to the state I’m (contracted, distracted or awake and aware).  The question itself is such a good practice.  Thank you for reminding me.

  6. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  7. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    “Self love is the foundation for your capacity to love the other person. If you don’t take good care of yourself, if you are not happy, if you are not peaceful, you cannot make the other person happy. You cannot help the other person: you cannot love. Your capacity for loving another person depends entirely on your capacity for loving yourself, for taking care of yourself.”
    Thich Nhat Hanh

    Loving ourself is having no anger and worry. In reality Thich Nhat Hanh is saying the same as Usui-san. It is both love they are talking about and we all know that Love = Reiki.

  8. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Of course the beginning part, leading up to the precepts, also state:

    “The secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine of many illnesses.”
    “The secret method of inviting happiness through many blessings, the spiritual medicine of all illness”

    It states that the medicine is spiritual in nature! Which is in fact a very important elements!


  9. Avatar of Nicholas

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